Half a billion reasons to celebrate Council investment in East Ayrshire
Just weeks after agreeing their revenue budget, East Ayrshire Council has approved an ambitious ten-year investment programme totalling almost £500 million, with a focus on education, business, town centre regeneration and community support.
The Capital Investment Programme builds on a series of significant investment projects the Council has completed since 2009.
It currently includes commitments of £188 million featuring ongoing projects such as:
Roads and Transport Programme (£71 million) – resurfacing, repair and improvement works on the area’s road and path network
The Knockroon Education and Enterprise Campus – (£63 million) – featuring a merger of Greenmill Primary School and Early Childhood Centre, Barshare Primary School, Supported Learning Centre and Early Childhood Centre, Hillside School and a merger Auchinleck Academy and Cumnock Academy and Supported Learning Centre. The proposals also include further education and business enterprise facilities.
Improvement and refurbishment works at Hurlford, Fenwick, Muirkirk, Bellsbank, St Sophia’s, Dalrymple and Drongan Primary Schools, plus Auchinleck and Lainshaw Early Education Centres (£22 million approx)
Economic Development £9 million to support local businesses, new enterprise and regeneration in Kilmarnock, Cumnock and across East Ayrshire
Development of school ICT network (£9 million) – offering state of the art digital learning facilities and improved networking
Dean Castle funding (£3 million) – development of outstanding leisure facilities and an enhanced tourism offering.
The new ten-year investment programme adds a further £295 million to these existing commitments, giving a total of £483 million.
Headline investment projects include upgrades, refurbishments and some extension work for primary and secondary schools at:
Stewarton and Loudoun Academies (£17.5 million)
Whatriggs Primary School (£12.4 million)
Loanhead, Logan, Hillhead, Kilmaurs, Netherthird, Nether Robertland, Dunlop and Lainshaw Primary Schools (£10.5 million)
Early Childhood Centres at Dunlop, Kilmaurs, Riccarton and Loanhead (£2 million).
There are also exciting proposals for a new £18.5 million Campus to include Doon Academy and Dalmellington Primary School, subject to local consultation.
In other areas, a Risk Contingency Fund of £10 million has also been proposed to cover the costs of environmental risks at open cast sites, flood areas and contaminated land.
Welcoming the new proposals, Council Leader Councillor Douglas Reid said: “I’m really proud of the forward-looking and ambitious proposals in our Capital Investment Programme.
“New schools, extensive refurbishment of existing schools, enhancement of existing early years provision will all offer state of the art education and high quality learning, leisure and recreational facilities for our young people and communities.”
“Our investment programme goes further.
“We’ll be helping older people to live independently in their own homes with private sector housing grants to help with practical adaptations, coupled with a £1.8 million investment in the successful Telecare Support system.
“Our council house building programme will continue and, where possible, this will focus on town centre living, with further investment in regeneration and businesses to support economic growth and business success.”
Additional investment highlights include:
New business units for Moorfield and Rowallan Park, building on commitments to support new and start up businesses (£3.6 million)
Additional funding for the proposed redevelopment and improvement works at Dean Castle Country Park (£626k)
Improvements at the Risk Management Centre (£400k).
Councillor Reid concluded: “At a time when many public sector organisations are making cuts, we’re proposing a superb series of investments for the whole community.
“We’ll achieve this through a balanced strategy of internal borrowing, using reserves balances and positive cash flows to fund expenditure in the short to medium term.
“All of this will help us deliver our investments within our annual revenue budget, directly benefitting our residents and communities – and that’s half a billion good reasons to celebrate!”